Patrick Symmes has been added to the roster of speakers for the 2011 Key West Literary Seminar: The Hungry Muse: an exploration of food in literature.
Symmes is a journalist whose work focuses on Latin America, particularly Cuba, and is the author of two books: Chasing Che: A Motorcycle Journey in Search of the Guevara Legend, and The Boys from Dolores: Fidel Castro’s Schoolmates from Revolution to Exile, which made The New York Times "Ten Best Books" list for 2007.
Symmes has survived some malicious meals and scant rations while covering guerrilla conflicts from Afghanistan to Columbia for Harper’s and Outside magazines. Over the same years, he wrote for Condé Nast Traveler about cooking schools in Italy, Peru, and Los Angeles. These two skill sets– crème brûleé torch and Revolutionary sloganeering– finally overlapped in Havana when Symmes tried to survive a month on the same salary and food ration given to Cubans. The resulting Harper’s article, "30 Days as a Cuban," tells how he lost 11 pounds in Cuba, and spent $15.08 in a month, including transport.
Symmes will appear at the second session, January 13-16, 2011, alongside writers including Roy Blount Jr., Billy Collins, John T. Edge, Adam Gopnik, Gael Greene, Madhur Jaffrey, Mark Kurlansky, Molly O’Neill, and Calvin Trillin. Click here to register.